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Midgets look to ground Tornadoes

By Staff | Oct 17, 2008

Estherville Lincoln Central jumped back into the win column last week with a strong running game against Denison-Schleswig.

Coach Jerry Shultz was quick to give credit.

“The line is the first to get the blame when we don’t run well, but they don’t always get the credit when we are doing well,” he said. “Last week they played hard for four quarters, opened some holes and our backs ran hard.”

ELC’s starting down lineman are center Aaron Andrews, guards Justin Blinkmann and Casey Edwards and tackles Kyle Grems and Kyle Farmer.

The fact that the Midgets were a healthier team with seniors Keith Fandel and Chance Moore returning to the lineup.

Storm Lake comes to town and fan can look for them to go to the air.

“They probably pass 75 percent of the time and run 25 percent,” said Shultz. “They often run out of the shotgun with a lot of quick hits, so it’s difficult to get a pass rush on them.”

Storm Lake’s Bobby Brown has completed 112 passes on 207 attempts for 1,133 yards, but has only five touchdowns compared to nine interceptions.

The Midgets pass defense has struggled at times this season.

“I see it as their strength versus our weaknesses,” he said.

Except for a 33-20 victory over Cherokee in the season opener, Storm Lake has struggled to cross the goal line. The Tornadoes were shut out by Sheldon 14-0 in game two this season and only scored one touchdown in four games this season including last week’s 35-7 defeat to top-rated Bishop Heelan.

“We’ve moved the ball well, but had a hard time scoring,” said Storm Lake coach Bill McCabe. “We keep shooting ourselves in the foot.”

Storm Lakes’ second best scoring night was a 42-17 loss to Denison-Schleswig.

“Watching them on film, they have moved the ball up and down the field, but when they get close, they’ve had trouble near the goal line,” said Shultz. “They’re definitely have the potential to score. Hopefully we can pick off some passes. You never know what can happen when you throw.”

The ELC coach expects to see several different formations from the Tornadoes-reverse passes the hook-and-ladder.

“They’ll come here and open up the whole playbook,” he said. “We’ll need to sharpen up our pass defense. The big key may be in long, controlled drives to keep the ball out of their hands.”

Coach McCabe is looking for the reverse.

“We need to keep getting first downs to give us a chance and keep their offense off the field,” he said. “We’ll have to mix in the run and the pass to keep them honest.”

His first comment about ELC was, “They’re big.

“They like to run. Their tailback is a good player as is there fullback. They’ll try to grind out first downs.

“The key is to stop them on first down and not let it be second and short when they can run it when they want. We want to make second downs long and make them pass more.

The two teams haven’t met on the field the last two years, but McCabe looks forward to renewing the Lakes Conference connection.

“I coach baseball too so I know a lot of the kids on the field,” he said.